October 15th

Ok, so that was yesterday.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day.  It’s meant to remember all the babies lost… babies that were never met, those born sleeping, those met too briefly, and those that went home but did not stay.

Last year I was on a plane home from a wedding, so I didn’t really participate.  This year, I was home, and able to light a candle at 7pm.

Candle

 

The little pumpkin is from our maternity photo shoot – meant to represent our little pumpkin, who will never know the siblings we lost on our journey to her.

When Andrew got home, we went through our memorial box together.  Talked, cried, and hugged.  It was a good.  We don’t talk about it often, especially now that there’s a baby on the way.

I love this little girl, and can’t wait to meet her — we are so excited.  But that doesn’t make my heart hurt any less for what we lost.  Even in the face of happiness, it’s really hard not to think about the “what ifs.”

There’s more going on, but that’s all I’ve got for now.

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An Aside: FMLA and Pregnancy Disability Leave — AKA: Why I quit my job (profanity)

A quick back-story here.  I moved to Seattle, to live with my now-husband, from Washington, D.C. where I had spent many years trying desperately to find a political job.  Capitol Hill is probably one of the most competitive job markets out there… right up there with acting in Hollywood.  So I move to Seattle, and have no idea what I want to be when I “grow up.”  After a string of unfulfilling temp jobs, I decided I needed to find something meaningful, or at least enjoyable, for employment.  Over an hour from the state’s capital, political jobs were probably not a viable option.

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Another loss: Over before it started

After the miscarriage in September, we took a month off at the doctor’s recommendation.

I joined Andrew on the Atkins diet–lost a few pounds, plateaued, and then got frustrated.  Why was I depriving myself of certain foods if it wasn’t actually accomplishing anything?

Late Oct/early Nov we were cleared to TTC again.  I was shocked to get pregnant again right away.  I’d told myself I wasn’t going to test so early, but I noticed a few symptoms I’d only ever had during my previous pregnancy.  The next day, my positive tests were lighter, and after another two or three days, gone entirely.  The technical term for such an early loss is “chemical pregnancy.”  And, if I hadn’t been so attuned to my body, I probably wouldn’t even have known I was pregnant in the first place.

So another loss meant more heartbreak and disappointment.  Being so brief, I don’t think that it necessarily had as drastic an impact on either of us as the miscarriage.  But it still sucked.  A lot.

Loss and Heartbreak: Miscarriage

August 2011 was our eight month of TTC.  At the end of the month, we went on a weekend getaway to Portland (only 3 hours from Seattle).  The Friday we left, I was convinced we’d had another month of failure, but I was determined not to let that ruin our trip.  On the drive home, we discussed how unhappy we were with the weight we’d both put on the past 2+ years, and how we’d have enjoyed the trip to Portland much more if we were both 20 or so pounds lighter.  We resolved to start a diet the next day.  Specifically, Atkins, since Andrew had been successful with it in the past.

By the time we got home on Sunday night, I suspected that maybe I’d been too quick to judge.  I took a pregnancy test, and was surprised to see a Big Fat Positive! (BFP)  So surprised that I used another one, which had the same two pink lines!  So I used a digital test, and that magical word appeared, “Pregnant!”

I come downstairs, in shock, and tell Andrew “So, I don’t think we’re starting Atkins tomorrow.  I’m pregnant!”  Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep that night.

Sadly, that excitement only lasted a few weeks.  At our first appointment with my new OBGYN, I had an ultrasound done.  After what felt like an eternity of silence from the ultrasound tech, I grew concerned, and finally asked, “is everything ok?”  I was supposed to be just over 8 weeks pregnant, and the ultrasound showed the baby measuring around 5 1/2 weeks.

Despite my meticulous tracking, which meant I knew exactly when I ovulated, and where I should be in my pregnancy, my blood test results were so high that my OB said she was “cautiously optimistic” that everything would turn out ok.  This was a Wednesday.  And we spent a few days in denial, and a sort of hellish limbo, not knowing how things would turn out.

Until that Sunday, when I started bleeding heavily, then we knew it was over for sure.  September 25th, 2011, was arguably one of the worst days of my life.